Wike, Makinde, Ortom, two other PDP govs meet in Enugu, consider options

Five estranged governors elected on the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) platform, sympathetic to Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, met behind closed-doors in Enugu on Sunday, to determine their next line of action. 

The governors at the meeting included Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State; Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu); Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia); Samuel Ortom (Benue) and their Rivers State counterpart, Nyesom Wike. 

The governors, who arrived Akanu Ibiam International Airport, in Wike’s private jet, were received by their host, Governor Ugwuanyi. 

They declined to speak to newsmen at the end of the meeting held at the Enugu Government House, but sources said the meeting provided an opportunity for them to consider their options following the renewed reconciliatory efforts initiated by PDP presidential candidate for the general election, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and the party. 

Atiku has also held a consultative meeting with PDP stakeholders both in the South-East and the SouthWest in the bid to resolve all the issues. 

Those governors were not present at the recent inauguration of the PDP Presidential Campaign Council in Abuja, but Wike met again with Atiku where he reportedly insisted that Senator Iyorchia Ayu should step aside as PDP national chairman. 

Wike also hosted the Labour party candidate, Peter Obi, for the second time fueling speculations that they may work together for the presidential bid of the former Anambra State governor. 

In the same vein, Obi met with Makinde at the Oyo government house, Ibadan, behind closed doors, last week. 

These meetings have fuelled speculations that the group of five PDP governors may work for Obi in the 2023 presidential election. 

The meeting of the Wike group is coming against the background of the plan by the PDP to hold what one of the leaders described as a meeting of a select few of the party chieftains in the ongoing efforts to reconcile aggrieved camps. 

The candidate of the party for the presidential election, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar; national chairman, Senator Iyorchia Ayu; Governor Nyesom Wike, among other chieftains, are to hold ‘an all-inclusive meeting to resolve all outstanding issues’ in order to present a united front during the campaign for the general election. 

The meeting is part of the outcome of consultations with zonal leaders of PDP embarked on by the chairman, Board of Trustees (BoT) of the party, Senator Adolphus Wabara over the faceoff between Wike and the PDP national leadership. 

During the consultations, the Wabara team had met with the Governor of Oyo State, Seyi Makinde, his Benue State counterpart, Samuel Ortom, Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu) and Governor Okezie ikpeazu of Abia State. 

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The Wabara team was at Delta State Governor’s Lodge in Asokoro, Abuja for a meeting with the PDP presidential running mate and governor of Delta State, Dr Ifeanyi Okonwa as part of the consultations as a prelude to the planned all-inclusive reconciliation meeting. 

Wike and four other governors, who are demanding that Ayu should step aside as national chairman for a southerner to take charge, were absent during the inauguration of the PCC of the PDP last Monday in Abuja. 

But, Atiku had said due process has to be followed if the chairman is to quit his position. Ayu had also explained that he has a four-year mandate having been elected at the national convention of PDP. In the mean time, key stakeholders in the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) remain locked in blame game over the composition of the Presidential Campaign Council (PCC) as the PDP plans an ‘all-inclusive reconciliation talk’ among its leaders within the next one week. 

Nigerian Tribune gathered that the bid by governors elected on the ticket of the APC to control the presidential campaign machinery especially at zonal and state levels caused the last-minute postponement of the inauguration of the PCC earlier scheduled for last Wednesday in Abuja. 

Top members of the ThinkThank of the presidential campaign planning commit- tee confided in the Nigerian Tribune on Sunday that some of the governors were not contented with being made zonal coordinators of the PCC alone but insisted on being coordinators in their respective states as well. 

A breakdown of the 422-member PCC unveiled last week showed that governors are coordinators of the PCC in their states. 

The sources said a number of other party chieftains, who had been part of the train of the presidential candidate of the party, Senator Bola Tinubu prior to his emergence at the APC primary, felt shortchanged for not being the first offered to serve as zonal or state coordinators. 

Another party top shot told the Nigerian Tribune that the grey areas had been reviewed and addressed by the party top shots who had agreed to inject more names into the PCC in the overall interest of the party. 

The source said the addition of more names does not in any way affect the ones included in the 422 member-PCC released recently by the presidential campaign organisation for the general election. 

The source clarified that the names were injected into the various committees under the PCC which President Muhammadu Buhari is the chairman while Governor Simon Lalong is the director general. Though the sources could not state the new date for the inauguration of the PCC of the party, which was post- pone indefinitely, they said the exercise could hold between now and next week. 

However, another source said the camp of Tinubu should have allowed the pro- cess to accommodate those party members currently aggrieved, to avert any form of rumpus. 

The source said Tinubu should have evolved a system that allows him to remain on top of his campaign while providing necessary logistics to the PCC to remain afloat. 

One of the spokesmen for APC presidential campaign organisation and Minister for Labour, Comrade Festus Keyamo (SAN), had at the weekend, said more names had been included in the PCC. 

Meanwhile, Governor of Plateau State, Simon Bako Lalong, has charged Nigerians to carefully scrutinise the blueprints of candidates and their parties in order to make the right choices among candidates for various elective offices. 

Lalong, who gave the advice at a dinner organised by the state government to mark the 62nd Independence anniversary of the country, enjoined Nigerians to allow democratic ideals to thrive and avoid fanning the embers of hate and division. 

Lalong tasked Nigerians to rise above personal comfort and the pursuit of parochial interests to make the necessary sacrifices towards building the Nigeria that everyone was yearning for. 

He stressed that the task of building a greater nation was a collective responsibility, which should be pursued with courage, understanding, love, unity, and tolerance, adding that “a house divided against itself cannot stand.” 

As the country prepares for 2023, the governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, has observed that only the people can make the right choice to turn the nation’s fortunes around. 

This observation was made by the governor at the father-child dialogue on education and youth development organised by the state ministry of youth and sports development, in collaboration with the state chapters of students’ leaders forum and the National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN), held at the International Conference Centre, Nasarawa. 

At the ceremony, which was also in commemoration of the 62nd independence anniversary, Tambuwal reiterated that it was only when Nigerians could choose the right type of leadership and put same in place that the mission of rescuing the country and making it better again would be successful. 

Recalling how, in 2019, he engaged some academicians in his state on the question of leadership selection in Sokoto and admonished them to elect someone that have the competence, character and capacity to lead the state, the governor noted that today similar challenge still looms. 

He said the candidates that Nigerians should strive hard to elect must be ones that not only project ideals and values they present to the people but their ability to provide good leadership. 

Tambuwal thanked the people of the state for standing and rising to the challenge posed about four years ago, despite every and all ef- fort to block his victory back in 2019, explaining that a fresh round of campaign has now started nationwide. 

A statement signed by the media aide to the governor, Muhammad Bello, said the governor further listed more qualities that the electorate should look out for before electing candidates. 

He suggested that they should not go for any candidate that is a tribal, sectional or a religious jingoist. 

Instead, he offered that the people of the country should go for a candidate that is pan-Nigerian and has the capacity and experience to govern the country. 

Tambuwal challenged the youths to always be conscious of the fact that moneybags, religious and ethnic champions will come around during elections flouting their propaganda and talking about the future of the country. 

“We have not been doing what we have been doing just for us to please ourselves, but we are making continuous sacrificing, toiling and working round the clock to make sure that we showcase the best candidate to govern this country,” he added. 

The governor said the youths must be very vigilant, conscious and exercise their franchise in the best interests of their country, while charging the people of the state, particularly the academia and the youths, on the challenge of ensuring that they will not suffer the choice of having a bad leader who will jeopardize the future of the state. 

“We must not take the risk of allowing certain character to come back to the leadership of the state,” Tambuwal maintained, comparing the abysmal performance of his predecessor to the earnings that accrued to the state under him, which wasn’t utilised properly but wasted.


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